Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Christmas Dinner

I spent the christmas day with my sister in the Bay house. It was the first time we decided to celebrate the day as everyone(monority ignored !) else does in this country. It was my wife's idea to decorate the tree and buy gifts so that Aurika- my niece who is autistic can get the feeling of something special. So we did our last minute shopping - buying trees , decorations and gifts and Turkeys and stuffings and whatever was needed to do it just right. It was great at the end. We had a nice meal ; I was so full I could hardly walk. Aurika explored her presents one by one and was very happy. Nice to see smile in her face.

Poor Turkey

Christmas tree and the gifts

Ready to Eat

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Birthday to Jesus !

Today is the Christmas day - 25th December. Christams is all over the place here in the West- a time to reflect and rejoice for all of us. Today is Christ's Birthday. 2005 years ago on this day Jesus, who is known as prophet Isa(PBUH) according to Islamic belief, was born in Bethlehem. Approximately 2 km to the east of Bethlehem lies the village of Beit Sahour, where one of the most sacred places to Christians; the Shepherds' Field; is found, identified as the scene where the Angel of the Lord visited the shepherds and informed them of Jesus' birth (pbuh); "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And the Angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:8-10).

Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus through Mary. When the angels announced to Mary about Allah’s promise that she will have a son, she was surprised, since she was a virgin. "How can this be?" she thought, but she was reminded that it is easy for Allah to create whatever he wills.

Behold! the angels said, 'Oh Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter, and in (the company of) those nearest to God. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity.
She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me?
He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
(Qur’an 3:47).

Located 10 km south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem nestles on two hilly plateaus, and lies 2550 feet (765 m) above sea level, surrounded by rolling hills which stretch out eastward to the Judean desert providing stunning views of an ancient landscape of vine yards, olive trees, and tiny villages.

Old Jerusalem is a walled city with seven gates. It is 3000 years old and contains shrines sacred to Islam, Judaism and Christianity

Old Jerusalem is a walled city about one square kilometer or six city blocks in size. The current wall surrounding the city was built by the Ottoman Turks in 1537 and has seven gates. The holiest shrines within the old city are:

The Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine that contains the rock which the prophet Muhammad stood on before ascending into heaven. This same rock is said to be the one Abraham almost used to sacrifice his son Isaac before God told him he could offer a goat instead. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is part of this complex. This is considered to be the third most sacred site in Islam.
The Church of the Holy Sepulture, the most sacred site in Christianity, which contains both the tomb of Jesus and Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified.

The Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall, built by Herod in 20 B.C. as part of the second temple. The first temple, built at the same location, was Solomon's temple, which housed the Ark of the Covenant and was destroyed by the Babylonians. The second temple was destroyed by the Romans, leaving only the Western Wall. This is the most sacred site in Judaism, and it is said that the gate to heaven is located above it. Jews come to pray at the wall and often place written prayers into the cracks between the stones; the Wailing Wall is open to anyone who wants to come and pray.

Jerusalem, a spiritual center for at least 3,000 years, was founded by Kind David in 1004 B.C. Because it is a holy city for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, it is directly or indirectly a focal point for the prayers and spiritual energies of over a billion people. It has also been the cause of great conflict between these religious groups, who have fought each other over control of this sacred city. Because of this, Jerusalem has likely been the location of more suffering and bloodshed than any other city on earth. This is a paradox. How can a city that is filled with so much spiritual power also be the cause of so much suffering? This is a puzzle I continued to ponder during my visit to Israel.

Bethlehem is about five miles from Jerusalem and is the location of the Church of the Nativity. This church is built over a grotto said to be the place where Jesus was born. The grotto contains a shrine(see figure in the right) with a star on the floor representing the exact location of his birth. Off to the side and down a few steps is another shrine indicating the location of the manger in which Jesus had been placed after his birth.

Jesus in Islam

Isa (عيسى `Īsā), often seen as Isa, son of Mary (`Īsā ibn Miryam) is the Arabic name for Jesus, who is one of the Prophets of Islam. According to the Qur'an, he was one of God's most beloved prophets sent specifically to guide the Children of Israel (Beni Israel). Christian Arabs refer to Jesus as Yasu' al-Masih or Isa al-Masih (يسوع المسيح Yasū`a al-Masīħ).

In the Qur'an, stories about the life and teachings of Jesus are common. The Qur'an recalls his miraculous birth, his teachings, the miracles he performed by God's permission, and his life as a respected prophet of God. The Qur'an also reminds repeatedly that Jesus was only a human prophet sent by God and not part of God Himself.

Muslims believe that Isa was sent down as a prophet and to be the Messiah. The Qur'anic verse below explicitly calls him by this title. The verse says that Allah (God) sent word to Mary about it, and it also calls him the Word of God. However, Muslims strongly disagree with the mainstream Christian belief that Jesus was divine himself as part of the trinity (Son of God), regarding it as a blasphemous denial of tawhid (monotheism). Therefore, he is not considered the Son of God. (See below for relevant Qur'anic verses.)

Behold! the angels said: "O Mary, Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name will be the Messiah Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.(al-Qur'an 3:45)

Muslims see Jesus' ministry as a continuation of a single divine message and faith system revealed over time by God to mankind. They regard not only Jesus, but earlier prophets such as Abraham, Noah, Joseph, Moses and David to have been Muslims, and see Isa as the great precursor to the final prophet, Muhammad. Jesus received a Gospel from God, called (in Arabic) the "Injeel," corresponding to the New Testament. However, Muslims hold that the New Testament present today has been changed and corrupted and does not accurately represent the original. Some Muslims accept the Gospel of Barnabas as the most accurate testament of Jesus.

Read more about Prophet Isa(PBUH)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bangladesh on Goldman Sachs 'Next Eleven' list

Goldman Sachs, a US-based investment banking and securities firm, in a report on world's potential economies has placed Bangladesh on its "Next Eleven" list as a key member.

The report said, "Bangladesh, the world's tiny economy with most corrupt brand, will power the global economy something of the magnitude of the BRICs economies."

The "Next Eleven" is the second term the Goldman Sachs has coined to describe economies with high growth potential, such as the "BRICs" economies encompassing Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Comparing the 22 economies of the G7, BRICs and Next Eleven, the report said Bangladesh will grow faster than predicted earlier. The main reason for the change in projection is the faster growth seen in 2000-05.

Full Report

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Did India give us freedom?

View Poll Results: Did India give us freedom?

no ------------- 35 --------- 71.43%

yes --------------- 14 ----------- 28.57%

The above is a poll result from AmaderGaan - a music site for the young generation Bangladeshis both home and abroad. As you can see most think India did not give us freedon but a striking one-third do believe that India did give us the freedom and without them we would have never gained our freedom.

It's good to see that the young generations are discusiing such issues which are often ignored or hidden back home. I have faced myself with loads of embrassing situations when many Indians claimed that they created us. Confused and shocked , I went back to learn history in a different light and found with utter disbelief that India was the key player in the war and we were just helping them. My Earlier post on the 'Creation of Bangladesh' explores the myth and reality of the 1971 war. See also the secret British official documents : Bangladesh war secrets revealed ( Full Text: ) and the secret US official documents ( Full Text : )

The most irritating thing is that even after all these years we have failed to pay the due respect to the Indians. None of the media, discussions or the intellectuals in Bangaldesh say a single word on the Indian part in the war. Very sad , isn't it ?

Anyway , below are some interesting comments from various new generation Bangladeshis in the poll forum. Take a look.

No, I don't think India gave us freedom because they didn't come and participate in our war for freedom. I guess the reason why those chatters are saying it is because India did train Bangladeshis to use rifles and stuff. In that respect, they did do that favor for us (even though political propaganda is implicated there)...but NO, India didn't give us freedom.

- crazyyou23

no one can give someone ( i mean a country here ) their freedom on a golden platter. u have to earn it, and likewise we earned it after a huge deal of sacrifice. but the fact remains u can not write history without mentioning the friends who stood behind you, provided you with shelter,food and in our case got involved in a full frontal battel against our enemy and shed blood. nothwithstanding the world politics that surrounded (including india's own benefit having a divided pakistan) our fight for independence, india did have a huge impact in our independence, and like any other self respecting country we should acknowledge that with utmost gratitude.

- ifti69

It's the nature of arrogant people to find excuses for talking down to people. Because Bangladesh is almost exclusively reknown worldwide because of its poverty and lack of development, it gets targeted with such rhetoric...Until Bangladesh becomes a rich and productive country that no longer relies on aid, we'll hear this kind of nonsense.

Back on topic...Bangladesh declared its independence of its own will. India took advantage of the conflict as a means of weakening Pakistan, its rival. While we owe thanks to India for their support in our struggle, whatever their actual reasons, it isn't them who gave us anything. A situation erupted in which both the people of future Bangladesh and the Indians would benefit from Pakistan's defeat in a war. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That's the beginning and the end of it.

- ezdeath

Well I am not sure how to answer this question but I do acknowledge that India Played a Major role in our liberation war. It doesn’t matter what their intension was. All I care is that they bared our suffering/sorrow and stood beside us. Without their help we might have turned out to be another Vietnam fighting for yearssss. Sometime I wonder if Pakis could kill around 3 million innocent ppl, raping 200 thousand and making one million handicapped in 9 month THAN what could they have done in year 2 or 3 ???

The most powerful countries like USA, China were against us and we had no organized military. Could we have won the war with bamboo sticks and rocks? Palestine is still struggling for freedom and its been ages.Over 10000 Indian solders died in our war. They were spending one Million dollar every day to give food and shelter to refugees. R Osrer kotha nahoy Bad-e dilam…

Bipoder Bondhu-e ashol bondhu…..kintu amar mote amra oi bondhutter jothartho morjada dite pari nai. Amra ekta Hingsha-Biddeshe jorjorito Jaati. Bipode manusher kach thika shahajjo nei, kintu obosthar ektu unnoti hoile-e chinta korte shuru kori shahajjo-karir shartho ki chilo!! Akhono desher manusher mode ai mentality dekte pai. khubi kharap lage...

- attar-khoje

yes they did. without the help from India, it was merely impossible for us to get our freedom

- mrittunjoy

india's help to the mukti juddho was two fold-providing training and logistical support to the freedom fighters from bd -and also to send its own army deep into foreign territory to fight this battle.the treaty and surrender at dhaka was signed in font of an indian general(gen manekshaw).

however,now the flip side-the geopolitical equation of the items were such that india had to intervene in the matter-it didnt really have a choice-so for the govenrment it was a practical decision.but what about thousands of indian soldiers who died there on foreign soil?do they deserve this will u go and tell their sons and grand sons that no ur father didnt die for a good cause -no we dont think his life helped us in they deserve that?

bangladesh earned their own freedom(as every natino must) but to deny that indian soldiers helped them,fought shoulder to shoulder with them,shed blood and made it all happen quicker and more easily -is to turn ur back on history.

- partha

I always felt India got involved for two reasons. One because of the number of refugees that crossed into their territory, and two, to get back at Pakistan. Hell, they might even have done it to establish credibiilty as a nation, considering how much their pride was wounded during partition and that they were pretty much a fledgling state at that time.

Freedom or not, I still believe they had a hand in Sheikh Mujib's assassination.

- Anodyne

i think that refugee problem was the more important factor anodyne.

about mujib's assasination -well mujib (and now haseena) was considered pro indian,tai mone hoy na otate indiar haath chilo.but then who can understand politics.(and certainly indira gandhi had by that time beocme the devil incarnate from the bharat mata of 1971)wasn't haseena in india itself during the assassination?(or have i got my facts wrong

- partha

NObody denies that people took shelter in India, locals provided foods and clothes and we must be grateful for that. But to suggest it was because of them, we acquired freedom, is something I strongly disagree with. You're right about US and China were against our independence, but it was actually Russia who supplied major arms THROUGH India. Do you think they were in a position to supply arms? This is very important to note.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that they were "silent observer" at the begining, they weren't opposing our freedom for obvious reason, but they also didn't offer help first hand. Someone mentioned, "my enemye's enemy is my friend", that's the most likely case for them to get involved. It wasn't until the late period of the war when the Pakistanis were losing and they attacked India as well. AFTER that officially India got involved.

Willingly or unwillingly they had to cooperate with us, and we're thankful for it. But when people say it was because of India we acquired freedom, is just plain wrong. Remember we didn't have any conventional army like Pakistan did, it was ordinary people fighting with any means they had access to. India's help certainly speeded up or shortened the length of ongoing war, that's all.

Would we have become independent without their help? Of course, but perhaps it would have been elongated.

- where_my_lungi

Yes I here you bro…. I also agree with you that some people tent get obsessed with India, but obsession in both ways might not be the correct answer/thinking also. I think it’s impossible to answer the Question If we could have gotten the freedom without India and Russia’s help or not. Because we are trying to drag a conclusion based on something which never took place. So it will always be an opinion which comes from gut feelings/pride/ego. Its not a tenable thing to base our argument on.

Definitely the freedom was achieved because of the determination and sacrifices of our brother and sister. But we also need to acknowledge those friends who also bared our pain and supported along the way.

There is no such thing as free meal in this world. Even our parents who are supporting us all the way also aspects something which is satisfactory to them. Now if we talk about justification of the demands than that’s another issue. But were we in a situation to bargain? I think not.

A Country’s independence only doesn’t rely on its internal war/conflict. There are lot other issues like world recognition; support from UN and also the media. It’s more like a team work. Who was representing us in the UN that time ? It was India who was facing all the criticism from big media of USA and UK and they are the ones who pleaded to the world to investigate the issue and the genocide that was taking place. They are the ones who conveyed our message to the world legal body. I think you will get a picture of it once I upload the documentary.

I am not saying that we should praise India to such level that gives away our country’s wellbeing. But we are always more considerable towards our friends in life right ? It works both ways and that’s how a good relation develops. I think we could have taken our friendship to the next level but I guess some of us were too much controlled by their pride and ego for some reason.

I think we just need to get our facts right and stop the game of accusation and be more appreciative to others effort. We also need to stop dragging definite conclusion based on pure guesswork such as what could happen.

- attar-khoje

No, India didnt gave us freedom nor did anyonenot even Mujib, Zia or any politicians

in 71 all those unknown people who fought with sticks bamboos and lousy guns, who lost their lives, relatives, houses and dignity these are the people who gave us freedom.

India helped us, thats true, during 71 they gave us shelter , we acknowledge that, and we also know that India strategically gained a lot from Bangladesh freedom.

Israel also helped us during 71, they send food and materials for the Bangladeshi refugees in India. We appreciate that.

But india should know that we beat Pakistan not because we would like to be a colony of India. so all those indians or pakistanies who argue about our freedom and dignity, please let them know that I would be glad to open my zipper and piss on their faces........that will cool them off

- InkaKing

yes. india might have their own reasons for helping BD.......they might have......but at the end of the day u will have to look at the end product and appreciate the offering!......if u think abt it, nothing in this world is 'sharthohin'........everyone tries to gain sth!!.....and thats not their fault!......its natural!

- AsifEminem

and as for the politician, Mujib will be always our greatest leader since the day he said “aibarer shongram moktir shongram……”he inspired us through the victory…BUT it’s the people who fought the war giving everything they had, so when some people call him the father of nation, this is too much cause each of the individual who made the sacrifice for our freedom is a father/mother of the nation NOT HIM ALONE. People contributed much more then he did.

and what Mujid and specially his family did after the freedom, creation of Bakshal and their abuse of power is simply a disgrace and unforgivable.

- InkaKing

For whatever reason India helped Bangladesh in war is out of question now! Bengalis achieved glorious victory, own country & flag!!! still what is bangladesh today? where does it stand? talking abt freedom......other than the Bengali, majority ppl says its all because of India who helped them to achieve their freedom! as there is so much lawlesness & vandalism today. it is strange that history is full of repetition, but we never learn from history!!

- sharmin

One thing i know that why india helped us is because they didn't want to see pakistani in both east and west side so that might be big problem for the india to win the war against them (Paki)...Pakis big plan was to attack india from both side but that didn't happen...

- thanda_pathor

France helped the United States win Independence from Britain. WWII helped India and Pakistan speed up Independence from a weakened Britain. India helped weaken Pakistan so Bangladesh could be free.But in each case, the liberation and bloodshed came from within. Otherwise the end result would have been like Bush liberating Iraq.Pakistan lost amazingly fast because they could not afford to fight India on two fronts and alos quell the Muktijoddha's efforts inside Bangladesh.If India had entered the war eariler then the genocide could have been averted so the loss of life could have been avoided.If India had not entered the war, the end result would have still been the same but the loss of life would have been greater.It was a unique situation. I don't think any Prime Minister apart from Indira Gandhi would have readily attacked Pakistan (without a formal declaration of war)... I don't think it would have happened at any other time in the history of the subcontinent.

- antorjal_surfer

I dont understand why we bengalis are soo reluctent to talk about our hisory??? This discussion just shows that how much we differ in opinion on such a huge event of our existence. It also proves how confused we are.

Than if we dont talk about it than may be there will be a time when ppl will say that "It would have been better if we stayed with pakistan!! "

May be the confusion is arising because of dose from currupted history. May be its time that we get in touch with our root to find wher we come from...

- attar-khoje

I first heard the phrase ' we created you' from two undergraduate Indians guys. I thought to myself these are few horrible people - believing in the goodness of the mass people. But the numbers kept rising and I thought have I been missing something in my history lesson for all these years. I remembered when I was in my 9th grade the infamous Malek Sir of Lab school, during one of his private tuitions, told us that it was indeed India that liberated Bangladesh and like many of us would think I thought he is nothing but a Rajakar ! But now after all these years I hear the same thing again and this time it's from the Indians !! Hmmm...Rajakar Indians !?!

After being humiliated and mocked at by various Bharotio Lokjon with the same proud statement I finally asked my closest Indian friend here about the creation thing and to my suprise he said "oh yeah yeah I heard back home...people say that we created you". So it's definitely not a one off thing then. It's a national preaching (propaganda ?) that Bangladesh is nothing but a war ( not love) child with Pakistan from India's point of view. So what about the history books that we memorized so far ? All cover up ? By the way, don't ask a Tamil or a Shikh about general Bharotio Monovab simply beacuse they don't walk in the mainstream and have a bitter clash with the central government. Coming to that point soon.

Few days back I was watching a documentary on the assault of the Shikh Temple in Punjab during Indira Gandhi's time. The Shikhs, after years of oppression, started demanding for a independent state "Khalistan". The leader of the rebel group was sheltering in the Golden Temple and Indira Gandhi , to capture the notorious rebel, ordered to cut off all the communiucation links to Punjab from the rest of the world and sent hundreds of troops to put an end to the Khalistan demand. The fight continued for the whole night and at the end, early in the morning, the army bombed the main gate of the Temple using a tank and killed the guy. After this incident Skikhs were tortured and burnt live all over India. As a result Indira Gandhi was killed by her own Shikh body guards. But then again the Shikhs were tortured mercilessly ( , . I was asking my dear friend ( Ram Deshmukh) why they didn't give freedom to Shikh people. His response was " we can't afford to's the most prosperous state in India...why would we give up part of our country ?" True, very true but then why did you help Bangladesh to get freedom. In response he simply smiled. The same thing goes for Kashmir. When asked why don't you let it be Independent ? The common answer is " It's too small to run own it's own...It's in our blood. We cannot let it go". Yeah ! true again, I guess India loves to help the freedom seeking people ! But It doesn't like other countries helping freedom seekers( The common complaint about Bangladesh now is that BD is helping the North-east rebels of India. The rebels have regular meetings in Dhaka !! ) Goodness me ! A treat of its own medicine !

The latest offence came when my wife visited the local GP. The GP is a muslim Indian from Hydrabad. Knowing that she is from Bangladesh, he said " Oh Bangladesh...we liberated you! " She had an argument about it with the doctor and when she came back told me the story. I wasn't so shocked this time and thought of doing some research on the whole issue. I found some interesting stuff. Let me share the 'da vinci code' with you !

1. Bangladesh war secrets revealed ( Full Text: )

I was searching for a clue on the creation of Bangladesh issue and the first thing that I found was this report from BBC published published on 1 january 2003."Secret British official papers from 30 years ago shed new light on the bloody confrontation between India and Pakistan in 1971.The papers show that the US administration believed that India was about to dismember Pakistan. The papers include secret transcripts of a summit meeting between the US and British leaders in December that year....Beyond South Asia, many people saw it as a freedom struggle in which India played a helpful role against an oppressive military hierarchy in West Pakistan, led by General Yahya Khan.But the transcripts of talks between the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and Mr Heath, and of the Heath-Nixon summit in Bermuda, show it was more than that. Mrs Gandhi, on a visit to Britain, told Mr Heath of the pressure in her cabinet for her to take Pakistani territory and not return it. "

2. Full Text :

"The US State Department recently declassified some of the Nixon White House tapes and secret documents that bring to light the way in which the Nixon administration went about the Bangladesh saga, reflecting the potential of mindsets and personal equations taking precedence over ground realities in White House decisionmaking. ...... India had completely given up on the US. In August 1971, it ended its non-aligned stance and signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union to safeguard itself against any American intervention. At the end of October, Indira Gandhi embarked on a tour of Moscow, Washington and several Western capitals to assess the international mood. It is widely believed that she had already planned to attack East Pakistan before this public relations tour. Nixon and Kissinger met at the Oval Office on the morning of November 5 to discuss the president's conversation with Indira on the previous day. Kissinger's assessment: "While she was a bitch, we got what we wanted ... She will not be able to go home and say that the United States didn't give her a warm reception and therefore in despair she's got to go to war." Replied Nixon: "We really slobbered over the old witch." After she got home, the "old witch" wrote to Nixon: "I sincerely hope that your clear vision will guide relations between our two democracies and will help us to come closer. It will always be our effort to clear any misunderstanding and not to allow temporary differences to impede the strengthening of our friendship." Within a day of Gandhi's return on November 21, Indian forces attacked East Pakistan at five key areas. Yahya's 70,000 soldiers deployed in the East were hopelessly outnumbered against the 200,000 Indian troops and the Mukti Bahini, Bengali guerrilla freedom fighters. Within 10 days, India had completely taken over the East. On December 16, after a final genocidal burst, Pakistan surrendered unconditionally.

3. No Comments ! Just see the title !!

The liberator of Bangladesh The Statesman - Kolkata,India

AMONG the most celebrated photographs in India’s military archives is that of the surrender at Dhaka in 1971. Holding centre stage at the ceremony recorded in that picture is Lt -Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, and rightly so. Not merely because it was to him that Lt Gen A Niazi, head of the Pakistan army in erstwhile East Pakistan submitted the instrument of surrender, but because it was under his command that the Indian land forces in the Eastern Theatre fought the war that give birth to a new, independent nation.---- Keith Flory

4. Response from Shafik Rehman ( Jai Jai Din)

It is true that Indian government, soldiers and the Indian public (they had to buy additional postage stamps to help build fund for Bangladesh Liberation War in1971 ) supported our freedom movement. Without them, our liberation would have been delayed but we would have been there anyway. But, that support does not mean that they won the war for us. We had to win it ourselves and that is what we did. The eastern states of India plus some southern Indian states aspire for independence today. Can they have it? Even if Pakistan and China support these liberation movements? No, they will not gain their independence. However, this is an Indian issue my point is that independence has to be earned by the people of the land. Nobody can donate independence.

- BandWidth

mmm...i think india helped finish the war quickly... India didn’t give it to us no one in their right mind can possibly India had a bigger input in the war than the muktibahini.

But the question comes to my mind the war definitely would have taken longer if it was not for India. Could we still have won? We all know USA would have had a much bigger input in to the war if it dragged on even a few months longer. Could Bangladesh have won then?

- not nablu

This is very true that India helped us during our great liberation war. But that was not simply out of sympathy, fraternity, ideological position or freindliness. There were some economic reasons, some political reasons, some geographical reasons. everybody knows it. But some people try to deny that India had some own interest in helping us to be free. We have to accept the reality as it is. But this does not mean that we should not have any kind of gratefulness for India. We the bangladeshi people certainly remember their helpful attitude. In fact if they did not get involved in the war, it would take much more time.

Well, all I have written so far is very true. But I have to add something.

As Bangladesh is a sovereign state, we have our own interests. Bangladesh is a seperate existence, an absolute one. Bangladesh is just another seperate state like India and India is no superior to Bangladesh. But in recent times India seems to be too much eager to be considered as a global super power and in some cases it is taking some abominable means for establishing their superiority. even some writers are blaming India for their imperialistic attitude. Their are BDR-BSF problems. Their are problems like `Nodi-Shongjog Chukti', their is Podda nodi problem (farakka badh) and some other issues in which india is taking a big-brother attitude. kinda bullying.

The political, economic strategies have been changed since 1971. We have to keep in mind the present reality, why the friendly indian people (kolkata-r manush, onno-rao) have turned into so malicious, why do they have such prejudice and many other present problems.


If you talk to Indians or Pakistanis they have more or less the same version of the 1971 war- a war between them that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. India firmly believes that Bangladesh is their creation and the fact is supported by secret British and US official papers ( see my previous post) . The Pakistanis blame the Indians for taking part of their country. It's only in Bangladesh we have a totally different history of 1971. strange , huh ?

Let's just forget everything and just stick to the age old theory of 'Helping Hand'. As a sign of gratitude , shoudn't we have a monument in Dhaka for the thousands of Indian soldiers who laid their lives for our freedom ? That's the least we can do to say thanks to India and her people. How on earth no leader in our 35 years history took this intiative or do they feel the people might react in a strange way when the 'truth' comes out ? The Indian part in our freedom struggle has been cleverly engineered by the historians and then nicely shaved off by the great media. It's time we show respect to the ones who deserve it and face the history - that's the only way we can get rid of our identity crisis.

- BandWidth

I believe we got freedom the moment we stood up and said we want freedom!

- SafirXP

Of course yes, because we (general public) against a military power! ordinary, everday folks fought against a military and defeated them. After 9 months, they were losing to us, then they attack India to get things messy and officially resigns. Its a pity that WE did all the major fightings and defeated yet we could not be part of the surrender.

So hell yah! If we could fought for that long, and driven them out of BD, we could have won regardless, maybe just a little longer. That's all.

I hope you're not saying, it would have been "impossible" without
Indian help!

- where_my_lungi

.......we had the inspiration, we had the srpirit..and we had a just cause BUT we didnt have the means to win a war.....and India and Russia made it happen...I hope you will see the connection...

- attar-khoje

In 71, compared to Bangladesh, Pakistan was so powerful country and had two super powers (US and China) as their allies. Sure no one can give freedom to others, one has to achieve it; but like many others, I still have doubt, without India’s direct help how long we could have survived against the brutally powerful pak armies? Still, Palestine is fighting against another brutal force without seeing any light at the end of the tunnel

- rangamati

That’s exactly what I am also saying…but there are some ppl filled with ego, can’t accept the facts. They think accepting it will degrade the spirit of our freedom movement. They think we gonna loose our pride to India…LOL..what a bummer..!!!

- attar-khoje

yes, we should not deny the truth. whether we deny it or not, people (foreigners) know the fact. and yet, we must have to courage to accept the fact. Emotion will take us nowhere... since our independence, we have been floating in the occean of emotions. where are we now?

Personally, I also not sure how much truth lies behind this quote "We helped India to achieve our freedom?"

- rangamati

From what I know, it seems impossible that Pakistan would have been defeated by the "East Pakistanis" alone. In the 9 month period, the Pakistanis killed 1.5+ million people. Can't even imagine the damage they'd have done if the war went on for 5-7-whatever years.Nobody knows for certain how things would have went had it not been for India, but thank God we didn't need to find out. I think Attar made the point that there is no shame in acknowleging the debt of gratitude we owe India for her help at the time.

- ezdeath

As you can see the confusions are everywhere. The fact might have lost forever and what we should have or could have known might have been lost or hidden forever. I feel like singing a Bob Dylan's song. This song matches perfectly with the whole 1971 scenario.

"There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief,
"There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth."

"No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke,
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

All along the watchtower, princes kept the viewWhile all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

Copyright © 1968; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The case against Zionism

"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?" he said.

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."

- Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The above comment by the 'controversial' Iranian president has sparked outrage in the Western world where freedom of speech is greatly appreciated ! Even the great Saudis were furious over his comments. The European union condemned the statement and Israel labelled him as a 'danger to the whole world'. Well, atleast we have something new to talk about now. The problem is though whatever Mahmoud has told the press resonates deep inside every muslim around the world. He is perhaps the only Muslim leader who is vocal about it. Does it mean Muslims have a conflict with the Western way of thinking ? Lets not go that way. Lets see whether the all the 'ugly' stuff he said do make sense or not.

What is Zionism ?

Zionism is a political movement and an ideology that supports a Jewish homeland in the Land of Israel, where the Jewish nation originated and where Jewish kingdoms and self-governing states existed at various times in history. While Zionism is based heavily upon religious tradition linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, the modern movement was originally secular, beginning largely as a response to rampant antisemitism in late 19th century Europe.
The Zionist movement acquired British and League of Nations sponsorship after World War I, resulting in the creation of the British Mandate of Palestine, which specifically called for "placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home." After an often tumultuous Mandate period, and after the Holocaust had destroyed Jewish society in Europe, the Zionist movement culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Since the founding of the State of Israel, the term Zionism has come generally to mean support for Israel. However, a variety of different, and sometimes competing, ideologies that support Israel fit under the general category of Zionism, such as Religious Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, and Labour Zionism. Thus, the term is also sometimes used to refer specifically to the programs of these ideologies, such as efforts to encourage Jewish immigration to Israel. The term Zionism is also sometimes used retroactively to describe the millennia-old Biblical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, which existed long before the birth of the modern Zionist movement. The label Zionist is also used improperly as a euphemism for Jews in general by those wishing to white-wash anti-Semitism (as in the Polish anti-Zionist campaign).

International Jewish opinion remained divided on the merits of the Zionist project. Many prominent Jews in Europe and the United States opposed Zionism, arguing that a Jewish homeland was not needed because Jews were able to live in the democratic countries of the West as equal citizens. Albert Einstein, one of the best-known Jews in the world, said: "I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain, especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks." The many Jews who embraced socialism opposed Zionism as a form of reactionary nationalism. The General Jewish Labor Union, or Bund, which represented socialist Jews in eastern Europe, was strongly anti-Zionist.

The rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany in 1933 produced a powerful new impetus for Zionism. Not only did it create a flood of Jewish refugees — at a time when the United States had closed its doors to further immigration — but it undermined the faith of Jews that they could live in security as minorities in non-Jewish societies. Some Zionists allegedly supported the rise of the Nazi party, recognising that it would increase the possibility of a Jewish state. It is claimed by Marxist author Lenni Brenner that The Zionist Federation of Germany even sent Hitler a letter calling for collaboration in 1933; however the strongly anti-Semitic Nazis rejected the offer and later abolished the organisation in 1938. Jewish opinion began to shift in favour of Zionism, and pressure for more Jewish immigration to Palestine increased. But the more Jews settled in Palestine, the more aroused Palestinian Arab opinion became, and the more difficult the situation became in Palestine. In 1936 serious Arab rioting broke out, and in response the British authorities held the unsuccessful St. James Conference and issued the MacDonald White Paper of 1939, severely restricting further Jewish immigration.

The revelation of the fate of six million European Jews killed during the Holocaust had several consequences. Firstly, it left hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees (or displaced persons) in camps in Europe, unable or unwilling to return to homes in countries which they felt had betrayed them to the Nazis. Not all of these refugees wanted to go to Palestine, and in fact many of them eventually went to other countries, but large numbers of them did, and they resorted to increasingly desperate measures to get there, over 250,000 were smuggled out of Europe by an organization called Berihah.

Secondly, it evoked a world-wide feeling of sympathy with the Jewish people, mingled with guilt that more had not been done to deter Hitler's aggressions before the war, or to help Jews escape from Europe during its course. This was particularly the case in the United States, whose federal government had halted Jewish immigration during the war. Among those who became strong supporters of the Zionist ideal was President Harry S. Truman, who overrode considerable opposition in his State Department and used the great power of his position to mobilise support at the United Nations for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, although he expressed very negative views of Jews in his diaries, and had, in a letter written years before he entered the White House, referred to New York City as "kike town" .[2][3][4] Since Britain was desperate to withdraw from Palestine, Truman's efforts were the crucial factor in the creation of Israel.

UN Resolution on Zionism: Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination


RECALLING its resolution 1904 (XVIII) of 20 November 1963, proclaiming the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and in particular its affirmation that "any doctrine of racial differentiation or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous" and its expression of alarm at "the manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas in the world, some of which are imposed by certain Governments by means of legislative, administrative or other measures",

RECALLING ALSO that, in its resolution 3151 G (XXVIII) of 14 December 1953, the General Assembly condemned, inter alia, the unholy alliance between South African racism and Zionism,
TAKING NOTE of the Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace 1975, proclaimed by the World Conference of the International Women's Year, held at Mexico City from 19 June to 2 July 1975, which promulgated the principle that "international co-operation and peace require the achievement of national liberation and independence, the elimination of colonialism and neo-colonialism, foreign occupation, Zionism, apartheid and racial discrimination in all its forms, as well as the recognition of the dignity of peoples and their right to self-determination",

TAKING NOTE ALSO of resolution 77 (XII) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its twelfth ordinary session, held at Kampala from 28 July to 1 August1975, which considered "that the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, forming a whole and having the same racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being",

TAKING NOTE ALSO of the Political Declaration and Strategy to Strengthen International Peace and Security and to Intensify Solidarity and Mutual Assistance among Non-Aligned Countries, adopted at the Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries held at Lima from 25 to 30 August 1975, which most severely condemned Zionism as a threat to world peace and security and called upon all countries to oppose this racist and imperialist ideology,

DETERMINES that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.

The Orthodox Jewish response to the criticism of the Iranian President

(statement for Al Q'uds Day)

28 October 2005
With the help of the Almighty.

Orthodox Jews the world over, are saddened by the hysteria which has greeted the recent stated desire of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to see a world free of Zionism. This desire is nothing more than a yearning for a better, more peaceful world. It is a hope that with the elimination of Zionism, Jews and Muslims will live in harmony as they have throughout the ages, in Palestine and throughout the world.

It is a dangerous distortion, to see the President’s words, as indicative of anti-Jewish sentiments. The President was simply re-stating the beliefs and statements of Ayatollah Khomeini, who always emphasized and practiced the respect and protection of Jews and Judaism. The political ideology of Zionism alone was rejected. President Ahmadinejad stressed this distinction by referring only to Zionism, not Judaism or the Jewish people, regardless of whether they reside in Palestine or else were.

We concur!!… Orthodox Jews have always prayed and till today, continually pray for the speedy and peaceful dismantling of the Zionist state. As per the teachings of the Torah, the Jewish law, the Jewish people are required to be loyal, upstanding citizens, in all of the countries where-in they reside. They are expressly forbidden to have their own entity or state in any form or configuration, in this Heavenly decreed exile. Furthermore, the exemplification of one-self, with acts of compassion and goodness, is of the essence of Judaism. To subjugate and oppress a people, to steal their land, homes and orchards etc. is of the cardinal sins, of the basics crimes, forbidden by the Torah.

We have long stood together with the suffering Palestinian people in their struggle for self determination and respect. Based on our religious teachings, we believe it is impossible that any lasting peace can be achieved, for so long as the state of Israel exists. It is towards this goal of true reconciliation that religious Jews strive; via Palestinian statehood, so that we can once again reside in harmony and brotherhood.

May we merit to see the fruition of our prayers. Ultimately we pray for the day when all mankind will recognize the One G-g and serve Him in harmony. May this come upon us in the near future. Amen.

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss
Neturei Karta International
Jews United Against Zionism




Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sexy Bible for the youth

Hell Yeah ! It's probably the last option left to bring back the ever decreasing number of church goers in the Western world. It could be a joke or a desperate appeal to save christianity. Either way it's an unique approach or should I say compromise with our corrupted souls. The face of religion in future seems too innovative and definitely damn hillarious .

A German Protestant youth group has put together a 2006 calendar illustrated with erotic scenes from the Bible. The 12 re-enacted passages feature a bare-breasted Delilah cutting Samson's hair and a nude Eve offering an apple.

The Nuremberg-based group said they wanted to represent the Bible in a way that would entice young people.

Nuremberg pastor Bernd Grasser said: "It's just wonderful when teenagers commit themselves with their hair and their skin to the bible."

"There's a whole range of biblical scriptures simply bursting with eroticism," said Stefan Wiest, 32, who took the racy photographs.

Anne Rohmer, 21, wearing garters and stockings, posed on a doorstep as the prostitute Rahab.

"We wanted to represent the Bible in a different way and to interest young people," she told news agency Reuters.

"Anyway, it doesn't say anywhere in the Bible that you are forbidden to show yourself nude."

Bernd Grasser, pastor of the church in Nuremberg where the calendar is being sold, said he was supportive of the project. [BBC]

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rock in Palestine

we are “CheckPoint 303″, a new electro-oriental underground band, our music deals with the daily life of the Palestinian people, the struggle and hardship but also the beauty and the trivial aspects of life in Palestine, things that obviously don’t always make to the media. Our music is an attempt to combine audio reporting from the daily life in the occupied territories with a contemporary approach to arabic music fusing electronic beats with the field recordings we perform on the streets in Ramallah, Bethlehem, etc. and adding some instrumental arrangements we play on the oud and the piano…

you’re welcome to check out some of our music on our new website:

The name checkpoint 303 alludes to the Bethlehem checkpoint 300…The members of the collective are currently split between Bethlehem and Paris.

One of the Checkpoint Tune’s is streets ô ramallah:

first, no body was hurt during the field recordings used in this track. The sound of the firing kalash and machine guns are shots of celebration fired in the air. We made these recordings in Ramallah during a rally celebrating the victory of the Fatah party over Hamas at the student elections at Birzeit University near Ramallah in 2005.

Another Checkpoint Tune is rissala min Qalandia:

the samples we used on this track are based on a recording of the late arab poet Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) reading his famous piece “Rissala min taht il ma” (Letter from under water). Nizar kabbani one of the greatest contemporary poets in the arab world was also known as the women’s poet, the poet of love and the homeland poet. Qalandia is an israeli Checkpoint halfway between Ramallah and Jerusalem.
Listen to more music here!

'checkpoint 303 is inspired by the sounds that pace the daily lives of millions of people in the middle east. screeching sounds of bullets. echoing injustice. uproar. revolt. dispair and sadness. and still amidst all this the soothing sounds. of hope. of normality. trivial acts. life like everywhere else. this is not a video game. violence is not a moving image on tv. it's the daily nightmare of millions.'

Source: Sabbah's blog and Checkpoint 303 website

Bill in da town

Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect of the US-based Microsoft Corporation, who arrived here Monday morning on his maiden visit, showed his interest in expanding investment when he, accompanied by Mrs Gates, met with the Prime Minister at her office.

"We will come up in more areas and take advantage of prevailing investment atmosphere here," he was quoted as saying during the meeting.

He said they don't know much about Bangladesh and his maiden visit has helped them know that the country has done a lot.

There is no good publicity of the country's such achievement and progress, he added.

Gates participated in the signing of an agreement between Microsoft Bangladesh and the ministry of education for training over 10,000 teachers and 200,000 students in the next three years.

On April 20 this year, Tarique Rahman visited Seattle in America at the invitation of Bill Gates Foundation where senior Bill Gates received him.

During his visit to Microsoft Office, Tarique was shown the World 2020 Model, meant for lifting human civilization on a much higher plane of advancement.

He formally invited senior Bill Gates and Bill Gates to visit Bangladesh.

More in BangladeshInfo

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's time Bangladeshis face the 'music' and decide

Yet another bombing in Bangladesh and it seems the whole situation has gone out of control of the government. Until and unless the suicide bombings hit you , you probably don't know what it feels like - so helpless. I could never imagine Bangladesh would fall into such a horrible situation. The problem for Bangladehis now is to decide what they really want. I don't think the government or the opposition parties are worried about people's opinion and that's where the real problem is. It's time we examine ourselves and decide what we want based on our religion, society and future ahead.

If we are to understand the mind set of the 'terrorists' we need to look back at the history of sub-continent. The arrival of Islam in the Indian sub-continent had been pretty late compared to the other parts of the world. It was the Mongols (Chengis Khan) who managed to conquer this part of the world and later on the Moguls (Babar , a follower of Shii Islam , and his sons) who spreaded Islam in this part of the world. But the people of Indian-subcontinent never tasted a state completely controlled by Islamic values and traditions. Muslims have been in the front seat wherever they have been in the world. But in the Indian sub-continent, Muslims were the minority- this was at that time a strange feelings for the Muslims. At the same time the Ottoman empire was ruling a vast part of the world and instead of having strict Shariah law placed , they prospered and became a powerful society in the world map. On the other hand, at the end of the Mogul empire, the Muslims started feeling increasing insecure about their identity in India- they were asking themselves whether they would be able to retain their identity as Muslims or is Islam going to be just another caste of Hindu religion ? Thanks to Akbar and other Muslim leaders ( motly philosophers and sufis and never interested in Sunni Islam) who never inspired Islamic values or Islamic identity as a whole. The result of the growing insecurity is the birth of Pakistan and India. The two nation theory, although hated by the 'secular' people, proved to be the dead end solution for Muslims in India- they found their own land where they can live with their own identity intact. Now, at this point take a pause and switch your brain to the mindset of BJP and Jamaat.

BJP hates Muslims beacuse it was because of the Muslims they lost a great part of their Hindu kingdom. They are nostalgic in every way and want to go back to those days when Hindus were the only power ruling this part of the world ( renaming the cities of India to their original names is an indication) . The same reason why BJP hates the partition and Gandhi as well. On the other hand, Jamaat hates Hindus because it was the Hindu religion which 'corrupted' Islam. As I mentioned before , the Muslims in India never enjoyed the true form of Islam, the Shariah law, the prosperity and the ultimate domination of an Islamic power unlike the Muslims in other parts of the world. So Jamaat longs for a Muslim state- a real one where shariah law will prevail and Muslims will live under the guidance of true Quranic ideals. There's nothing wrong with what they want but the way they want to achieve it is wrong.

It's time Bangladeshis discuss themselves what they really want. Are we going to call Bangaldesh a Muslim nation ? If that's the case , shouldn't we have Shariah laws controlling our lives as Muslims ? Can we put up with Shariah laws as a nation which has no history of a Islam based government ? Do we think Islamic lifestyle doesn't comply with the modern world and therefore we cannot have it ? Should we go for a Bangladeshi version of Islam and give it a name ? why not have a election on what we want - Yes or No to Shariah laws. Why not debate on the issues publicly ? Leaders should come out clean and discuss these issues. So should the media and people in general. There's no point living in the dark and be hypocriate.

It's time Bangladeshis face the 'music' and decide what they really want. It's time we reflect on us- what we are and where we are heading towards. We have reached the crossroad now - Turkey or Iran ? Tito or a Khomeni ? Choose one.